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Hotz' legal team refutes SCEA case

Lawyers argue that SCEA has no jurisdiction, Hotz never agreed to TOS

George Hotz' legal team has filed a reply to SCEA's opposition brief in the ongoing case about PS3 hacking. In it, Hotz' lawyers refute several of the pieces of evidence submitted by SCEA, as well as denying the company jurisdiction in the case.

New details of the case were posted on legal blog Groklaw, having been submitted to the court by Hotz' legal team at the weekend.

The reply calls into question several grounds for legal action quoted by SCEA, which is the arm of Sony pursuing the case, as well as attempting to discredit pieces of evidence.

One of the main thrusts of the argument is that, by attempting to pursue the case in California, rather than Hotz' native New Jersey, SCEA is making life unnecessarily difficult for Hotz, especially as his legal team refuse to acknowledge alleged downloads of software from PSN, which occurred in California, as having been made by the defendant.

Secondly, the filing claims that SCEA is not even the correct body to be pursuing the case - Sony Japan is the owner of the hardware and firmware, which are the only things affected by Hotz' actions. Hotz even claims to have been unaware of SCEA's existence until legal action began.

The team also places suspicion on SCEA's association of Hotz with a PSN account under the name of "blickmaniac". SCEA believes that this account belongs to Hotz, and by opening it he must have agreed to Sony's terms and conditions.

The Hotz team denies his association with the account, and also pointed out that the version of the Terms of Service submitted to the court by SCEA as evidence is dated after he allegedly opened a PSN account.

Sony alleges that the serial number associated with the account belongs to a PS3 console which was is Mr Hotz' possession. Hotz also claims to have never opened the terms and conditions issued with each PS3 console, of which he owned one brand new and three second hand.

Several complexities to the case appear to be developing, with Sony unwilling to back down in the face of what is likely stiffer opposition than it was expecting. That strength of opposition is no doubt bolstered somewhat by the donation-based legal fund set up by Hotz earlier in the case, which raised at least $10,000.

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Dan Pearson

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